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May 11 Harrisburg Civil War Round Table: Ed Bearss on “Vicksburg: Grant’s Masterpiece”

Civil War buffs Ed Bearss (left) and Scott Mingus enjoy conversation over brunch at the Accomac Inn along the scenic Susquehanna River in York County, Pa. The historic tavern dates from the late 1700s.

“Vicksburg: Grant’s Masterpiece” will be the subject of legendary historian Edwin Bearss‘ talk at the Friday, May 11 meeting of the Harrisburg Civil War Round Table. The success of this ambitious Union campaign ultimately split the Confederacy in two and boosted U.S. Grant into the front rank of federal generals. However the taking of the fortress city was no easy task. A leading expert on Vicksburg, Ed Bearss is uniquely qualified to explain how Grant overcame many challenges to give the North an extra reason to celebrate on July 4, 1863.

Ed Bearss served in the South Pacific as a U.S. Marine during World War II where he was severely wounded by Japanese machine gun fire. Later he earned a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.A. in history from Indiana University.

Mr. Bearss started his career with the National Park Service as a historian at Vicksburg National Military Park and he was instrumental in finding and raising the sunken Union gunboat, the U.S.S. Cairo. In 1981 he became chief historian of the National Park Service and, following his retirement in 1995, was named Chief Historian Emeritus. He holds honorary doctorates from both Lincoln College and Gettysburg College. His books include Receding Tide: Vicksburg and Gettysburg and The Petersburg Campaign: Volume I which will be published this month.

The Harrisburg Civil War Round Table meets at the Radisson Penn Harris Hotel & Convention Center, Camp Hill, PA, Camp Hill Bypass @ Routes 11&15. An informal reception starts at 6:00 PM, followed by dinner at 6:45. The cost of dinner is $20.00 and reservations must be made by no later than Tuesday, May 8, by calling 717-938-3706. The program begins at 8:00 PM and is free to the public.